Dustin Poirier on UFC’s offer to fight Michael Chandler: ‘That’s a slap in the face’

Daniel Cunningham
dustin poirier, ufc
Apr 12, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Dustin Poirier during weigh ins for UFC 236 at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Currently, the UFC is working on booking Conor McGregor (22-4) against Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) for January of next year. The rematch is expected to headline the promotion’s first PPV event of 2021 after McGregor agreed to the date yesterday.

However, McGregor wasn’t the first or even second opponent the UFC offered Dustin Poirier recently. Originally, Poirier was supposed to fight Tony Ferguson in the co-main event of UFC 254. However, the UFC and Poirier couldn’t come to terms financially. 

After that fight fell through, the promotion pivoted to try and book Ferguson against the newly signed Michael Chandler. That fight was not able to be made, and that caused the UFC to come back to Poirier with an offer to fight Michael Chandler.

In an interview yesterday with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Poirier shed some light on why he wasn’t willing to accept the offer on the table to fight Michael Chandler. It appears that Poirier was not going to receive the highest paycheck in the proposed Poirier – Chandler fight.

“I’ve been in the UFC for ten years. I’ve been in eight main events and two PPV main events. This guys gonna come in here and make more money than me. I understand it’s business, but if you want me to fight that fight, you have to step it up. That’s a slap in the face to me,” Poirier told Helwani.

UFC and Poirier were not far apart

Poirier did say earlier in the interview that he didn’t believe the two sides were far apart in their negotiations. He felt confident originally that something would get done between himself and the UFC. However, nothing has materialized to this point.

In Poirier’s last UFC contest, he had a disclosed paycheck of $150,000 to show and $150,000 to win. After winning the fight and winning fight of the night, Poirier walked away with $350,000 the night that he beat Dan Hooker.

Poirier’s comments have given us some insight into the new Michael Chandler deal with the UFC. Poirier is saying that Chandler would be making more money which tells us that the UFC is giving Chandler a higher guarantee to show up to fight.

The UFC and Poirier have not come to terms on a new contract. Fighters sign deals, but the UFC normally adjusts the deals throughout to bump up the pay of their fighters. However, this kind of thing created the situations with Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal earlier this year.

The UFC is within their rights to keep Poirier where he’s at because he signed that deal. However, Poirier is also within his rights to present his case for more money. It’s a tough situation, but with Poirier appearing set to fight Conor McGregor, I’m expecting his next check to be much higher.